World Library  


  1. ^ Maxwell Vol I, p118
  2. ^ Maxwell, Vol I p.130
  3. ^ ibidem
  4. ^ ibidem p.131
  5. ^ a b ibidem p.132
  6. ^ ibidem p.135
  7. ^ ibidem pp.135-6
  8. ^ a b ibidem pp.136-7
  9. ^ Dunbar, Sir Archibald H., Bt., Scottish Kings, Edinburgh, 1899, p.178
  10. ^ ibidem pp.139-140
  11. ^ Fraser, vol I, p394


The 4th Earl of Douglas is represented in William Shakespeare's Henry IV, Part 1 from the defeat at Homildon to his release following the Battle of Shrewsbury. Douglas also appears as a character in Edith Pargeter's 1972 novel A Bloody Field by Shrewsbury from his defeat and capture at Homildon through his participation at Shrewsbury on the rebels' side.

Douglas in Literature

In 1390 he married Lady Margaret (d.1451), eldest daughter of John Stewart, Earl of Carrick, who later became King Robert III. Of their children:

Marriage and issue

The newly created French duke was defeated and slain at Verneuil on 17 August 1424, along with his second son, James, and son-in-law John Stewart, 2nd Earl of Buchan. Douglas was buried in the choir of Tours Cathedral, alongside Sir James Douglas, his son.[11]

Battle of Verneuil

On 24 April Charles VII reviewed his new troops at Bourges. Douglas was given the post of "Lieutenant-General in the waging of war through all the Kingdom of France". On 29 April, Douglas was granted the Duchy of Touraine, including the "Castle, town and city" of Tours, and the "Castle and town" of Loches. Douglas was the first foreigner and also the first non-royal to be granted Ducal status in France.

Duke of Touraine and Lieutenant General of France

Douglas's son the Earl of Wigtoun had been fighting in France with his son-in-law Buchan, where they were able to inflict a heavy defeat over the English at the Battle of Baugé in 1421. In 1423 Wigtoun and Buchan arrived back in Scotland to raise more troops for the War effort, and with a personal request to the Earl of Douglas from Charles VII of France to lend his aid. Douglas's ally and King Charles' implacable enemy, John the Fearless of Burgundy, had died in 1419, so Douglas willingly consented to the French King. After considerable gifts to the church, Douglas left his son, the Earl of Wigtoun in Scotland. Wigtoun was charged with care of his estates and the negotiations for the release of King James, while Douglas prepared for war. Douglas and Buchan sailed into La Rochelle with an estimated 6500 men on 7 March 1424.

St Gatien Cathedral. Resting place of The 4th Earl of Douglas

The Great Army of Scotland

In 1416, with King James still a hostage in England, Douglas twice visited London to enter negotiations for his release. Whilst there the Lollard faction, during Henry V's absence in France, tried to persuade the Scots delegation to go on the offensive. Albany decided that this would be an opportunity to reclaim Berwick upon Tweed and raised an army to take it. He despatched Douglas to Roxburgh Castle which was also held by the English. When the Scots learnt of a huge army led by King Henry's brother, John of Lancaster, 1st Duke of Bedford and Thomas Beaufort, Duke of Exeter, they retreated ignominiously. The following devastation in Teviotdale and Liddesdale, and the burning of the towns of Selkirk, Jedburgh and Hawick earned this title of the "Foul Raid".

The Foul Raid

Douglas had resumed his duties as Lord Warden of the Marches soon after his return to Scotland. On the Border he had a free rein to defend it and to keep the peace. However, it appears that Albany was not prepared to pay for this, so Douglas recovered his costs from customs fees on all trade goods entering the country.

Warden of the Marches

Douglas went to Flanders and France in 1412, on arriving in Paris he entered into negotiations with John the Fearless, Duke of Burgundy whereby they agreed a mutual defence and offence pact in their respective countries.

Embassy to the continent

Political Machinations

In a political volte-face, the Earl of March had been accepted back into the political fold in Scotland. Both Douglas and Albany being reconciled to him. In 1409 March's lands in Lothian and the Merse were returned to him. This on condition of the Regent that his Lordship of Annandale be transferred to the Earl of Douglas. With his Lordship of Galloway, Douglas now controlled the whole of South west Scotland. The friendship between Albany and Douglas was confirmed in 1410 when they arranged the marriage of John Stewart, Earl of Buchan, Albany's second son with Elizabeth, daughter of Douglas.

Lord of Annandale

After giving his oath on Holy Scripture to King Henry to be his man above all others excepting King James, and on the production of suitable hostages for his Parole, Douglas was allowed to return to his estates to carry out his private affairs. Douglas had agreed again under oath to return to captivity in England upon an appointed day. At Easter Douglas went north and did not return upon the aforesaid day. King Henry wrote to Regent Albany complaining of this "un-knightly" behaviour and warned that unless Douglas returned the hostages would be dealt with at his pleasure. Douglas did not return. Only upon payment of 700 Merks in 1413 to the new King of England, Henry V were the hostages liberated.[10]

Return to Scotland

Douglas was now a captive of King Henry. The cost of ransom of the Scots nobles taken at Homildon was proving hard for the impoverished Scots exchequer. When Prince James of Scotland was captured en route to France by English pirates in 1406, the position seemed impossible. The aged King Robert III died of grief it is said soon after. The Kingdom of Scots was now in the hands of the Duke of Albany de jure as well as de facto.

Prisoner of King Henry

. Douglas had again tasted heavy defeat. Sir Walter Blount and Edmund Stafford, 5th Earl of Stafford after having fought gallantly on the field and personally killing [9]

This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article

Archibald Douglas, 4th Earl of Douglas

Archibald Douglas
Earl of Douglas
Duke of Touraine
Earl of Wigtown[1]
Lord of Galloway
Lord of Annandale
Lord of Bothwell
Seal of the 4th Earl of Douglas
Predecessor Archibald Douglas, 3rd Earl of Douglas
Successor Archibald Douglas, 5th Earl of Douglas
Spouse(s) Princess Margaret of Scotland
Archibald Douglas, 5th Earl of Douglas
Elizabeth Douglas
William Douglas
James Douglas
Noble family Douglas
Father Archibald Douglas, 3rd Earl of Douglas
Mother Joanna de Moravia, Lady of Bothwell
Born 1372 (1372)
Died Did not recognize date. Try slightly modifying the date in the first parameter.
killed at Verneuil-sur-Avre
Buried 1424
Cathedral of St Gatien, Tours, France

Archibald Douglas, Duke of Touraine, Earl of Douglas, Earl of Wigtown, Lord of Annandale, Lord of Galloway, Lord of Bothwell, and 13th Lord of Douglas (1372–1424), was a Scottish nobleman and warlord. He is sometimes given the epithet "Tyneman" (Old Scots: Loser), but this may be a reference to his great-uncle Sir Archibald Douglas.


  • Master of Douglas 1
  • Rites of Passage 2
    • Renewal of the Percy/Douglas feud 2.1
    • Siege of Edinburgh 2.2
    • Inheritance 2.3
    • Death of Rothesay 2.4
  • Homildon Hill 3
    • Captivity 3.1
      • With the Lords of the North 3.1.1
      • Prisoner of King Henry 3.1.2
  • Return to Scotland 4
    • Lord of Annandale 4.1
  • Political Machinations 5
    • Embassy to the continent 5.1
    • Warden of the Marches 5.2
    • The Foul Raid 5.3
  • The Great Army of Scotland 6
    • Duke of Touraine and Lieutenant General of France 6.1
  • Battle of Verneuil 7
  • Marriage and issue 8
  • Douglas in Literature 9
  • Notes 10
  • References 11

Master of Douglas

The eldest legitimate son of Archibald Douglas, 3rd Earl of Douglas and Joanna de Moravia of Bothwell, he was born either at Threave Castle or at Bothwell Castle c.1372 and was known as the Master of Douglas until his accession. By 1390 he had married the Princess Margaret of Carrick, a daughter of King Robert III of Scotland. Around this time, his father bestowed upon him the regalities of the Ettrick Forest, Lauderdale and Romannobridge, Peeblesshire.[2]

On 4 June 1400, King Robert appointed him Keeper of Edinburgh Castle for life, on a pension of 200 merks a year.[3]

Rites of Passage

Seal of the Princess Margaret, Duchess of Touraine, Countess of Douglas. Daughter of Robert III of Scotland

Renewal of the Percy/Douglas feud

At Henry 'Hotspur' Percy had entered Scotland and laid waste as far as Papple in East Lothian. The villages of Traprain, Markle and Hailes were burnt and two unsuccessful attempts were made to invest Hailes Castle. The Master of Douglas, who held the office of Lord Warden of the Marches, surprised them by night at their camp near East Linton and defeated the English Force. The Douglases chased the enemy away as far as Berwick upon Tweed, slaughtering many stragglers in the woods near Cockburnspath.[4]

Siege of Edinburgh

Later that summer Douglas was second in command to David Stewart, Duke of Rothesay, the lieutenant of the Kingdom, during the siege of Edinburgh Castle by Henry IV. Henry was unsuccessful in his endeavours and with Owain Glyndŵr's rebellion gathering apace in Wales, he became the last English monarch to ever invade Scotland in person.[5]


Archibald, the 3rd Earl died at Christmas 1400, and the new 4th Earl became the largest and most powerful magnate in the realm. His father's vast lordships stretched from Galloway Douglasdale, Moray, Clydesdale to the shires of Stirling and Selkirk. These were augmented by the forfeited lands of the Earl of Dunbar in Lothian and the Merse.[5]

Death of Rothesay

In 1402 Douglas' brother-in-law, the heir to the throne, David Stewart, Duke of Rothesay was held in close arrest, first at the Bishop's Palace at St Andrews, then at the Royal Palace of Falkland. At Falkland, Duke David died on 27 March, in what have been alleged to be mysterious circumstances. The Duke was 24 years old and in good health prior to his arrest, and rumours abounded that he had been starved to death in Falkland's pit prison.[6]

Prince David had been arrested under a warrant issued in the name of his father the decrepit Robert III, by his uncle, Robert Stewart, Duke of Albany and Douglas. Both Albany and Douglas, were rumoured to have been the authors of any foul play suspected. This can be shewn by the fact that both men were summoned to appear before Parliament. However on 16 March, both men were acquitted when Parliament passed an act stating that the Prince had: "departed this life through Divine Providence, and not otherwise", clearing both of High Treason, and any other crime, and strictly forbidding any of the King's subjects to make the slightest imputation on their fame. This can be considered a whitewash, as the Kingdom of Scots could not afford to lose its two most powerful men due to renewed English hostility. Douglas and Albany were considered to be the only fit antidote to the traitorous Earl of March and his English allies.[7]

Homildon Hill

Site of the Battle of Homildon Hill

On 22 June the same year, a small Scots force was beaten by Thomas Dunbar, 5th Earl of Moray and Murdoch of Fife. Douglas himself was captured having been wounded five times, including the loss of an eye. This wounding was despite the fact that it is alleged Douglas' armour had taken three years in its construction.[8]


With the Lords of the North

19th century depiction of Douglas on the left defending the mortally wounded Hotspur at Shrewsbury

If the Percies and the other English knights thought they had gained great immediate riches from ransoms, they were to be disappointed. They received a message from King Henry congratulating them their victory but forbidding the release of any of their prisoners.

By 1403, Hotspur was in open rebellion against his King, joining with his kinsman

Preceded by
Charles VII of France

Duke of Touraine

Succeeded by
Archibald Douglas, de jure
Louis III of Naples, de facto  
French nobility
Preceded by
Archibald Douglas

Earl of Douglas

Succeeded by
Archibald Douglas
Peerage of Scotland

Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from Project Gutenberg are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.